Young patients at the renowned children’s hospital are about to get to grips with the viola-clari-banjo-flugelhorn-guitar-drum. Or the Skoog for short.
Invented at the University of Edinburgh the Skoog is soft, spongy, bright and bouncy. It is a new type of musical instrument quite unlike any other. And not just one instrument; it’s lots of instruments all squeezed into a multi-coloured box of technology. By pressing, tapping, rolling, twist!ing, strumming, tweaking, bashing and beating their Skoog the player produces notes and chords to create musical sounds. The melodic strum of a guitar. The woody resonance of a marimba. The breathy swell of a clarinet.
Yet it doesn’t need a multi-instrumentalist to play it. In fact, the Skoog makes making music accessible to everyone; from established experimental musicians to children with disabilities who struggle to cope with conventional instruments. As Wired magazine said in a recent feature, “The Skoog brings music making to people of any ability – or disability”.
Great Ormond Street Hospital for Children has just been presented with a Skoog after its Assistive Technologist, Tom Griffiths, won a prize draw while attending the BETT showcase for educational technology in London earlier this year. “We are delighted to have a Skoog at GOSH and are sure it will be an invaluable tool in our assessments”, said Tom. “We envisage it providing a lot of fun for our children and young people – and probably the staff, too!”
Dr Ben Schögler, one of the instrument’s inventors, will meet hospital staff on 20th May 2011 to help settle their Skoog into its new surroundings. “Music is fantastic, but to make the most of it you have to be able to play the instruments. While this can be a barrier for many, the Skoog empowers anyone to be able to start making music immediately. We are really looking forward to hearing what the kids at GOSH can do.”
For more information, videos, news and more got to http://skoogmusic.com/
High Resolution Images available on request.